Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Kan'in Kotohito, Imperial Prince of Japan (1864–1945)

Japanese general and member of the Imperial family. Born on 22 September 1864 in Kyoto, Japan, Prince Kan'in Kotohito received the title of Imperial Prince Kan'in in 1872. Educated at the Army Cadet School, he studied in the French Army Cadet School and the Cavalry School from 1878 to 1882. Following his return to Japan, he served in almost all major cavalry posts in the army. During the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War, Major General Prince Kan'in served in the headquarters of Manchuria Expeditionary Army. Promoted to lieutenant general, he commanded both the 1st Division and the Imperial Guards Division. Kan'in was promoted to field marshal in 1919.

As a "grand old man" of the Imperial Army, Kan'in occupied the post of chief of staff of the army between December 1931 and October 1940. His age made him a mere figurehead, providing the opportunity for radical midrank officers to increase their influence in army decision making. Prince Kan'in died in Tokyo on 20 May 1945.

Tohmatsu Haruo


Further Reading
Large, Stephen S. Emperor Hirohito and Showa Japan: A Political Biography. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.; Morley, James W. Japan Erupts: The London Naval Conference and the Manchurian Incident, 1928–1932. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984.; Shillony, Ben-Ami. Politics and Culture in Wartime Japan. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.
 

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